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TiVo deal will make Disney movies available for rent

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Bloomberg News / May 29, 2008

NEW YORK - TiVo Inc., the pioneer of digital video recorders, will start a service that lets subscribers download movies from Walt Disney Co. directly from their televisions.

Customers will be able to rent movies for a 24-hour period through an agreement with Disney and CinemaNow, TiVo said yesterday. The films will be temporarily stored on TiVo's broadband-connected DVR hard drives.

TiVo, facing rising competition from cable and satellite companies in recording services, is increasing on-demand content for its subscribers. The Disney movies will add to the more than 30,000 titles TiVo offers through Amazon.com Inc.'s Unbox service, Music Choice, and other providers.

"Our whole focus going forward is to give users unlimited content and control," said Tara Maitra, TiVo's vice president of content services.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The Disney on-demand service, which includes movies from Disney-Pixar and Miramax Films, will be available to broadband-connected TiVo Series2 and Series3 subscribers later this year. Movies will be offered in standard definition, with some also available in high definition.

"They're building up their different content partners to enhance their offering as opposed to a regular DVR," Kaufman Bros. analyst Todd Mitchell said. The New York-based analyst recommends buying TiVo shares and doesn't own any.

TiVo, based in Alviso, Calif., fell 16 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $8.10. Disney rose 22 cents to close at $33.86.

In a separate statement, TiVo said it is also offering a service that automatically records the program recommendations of the Chicago Tribune's TV critic, Maureen Ryan. In addition, users can download video commentaries directly to their TV from Ryan, author of the Tribune's "The Watcher" column.

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